Sunday, November 19, 2006

Coffee Talk:

This week's discussion is health care reform. Specifically, managed health care vs. universal health care, and how each effects our way of life.

Univerisal health is the system that guarantees health care for every citizen making health care a right and not a benefit. The United State is the only industrialized nation that does not guarantee health care to its citizens (link). Propionates of universal health care advocate a single payer system of universal health care. This system would be a payment system and not a delivery system. The health care providers would be in a fee for service practice and not employed by the government. This would differentiate the single payer system from socialized medicine.

More info:
What is it?

Our current system is costly and flawed, but you are free to choose from a nicely printed list of doctors covered by your HMO and really, what more can you ask for? You can quote infant morality rates, life expectancy rates, and look to the almighty Canadian government, but will that answer the real question. Is health care a right or a benefit? Talk amongst yourselves.


Dan said...

Healthcare is 100% a benefit. Anyone who denies that and says it's a right is a communist pig. That's right, I said it, and you would be one. The problem w/ our healthcare system is not the medicine, or the doctors, or the drug companies. Although that may be a part, the biggest part, in my opinion is the amount of liability insurance they need to have in order to practice medicine. Why? Because of people like you all who think that if a doctor misdiagnoses you, or performs surgery, and it doesn't go 100% correctly, you sue the doctor for millions of dollars for "pain and suffering."

I don't know how a jury determines that someone should get $5M because they lost a loved one during a surgery, or $1M for an illness they received because they took the wrong medication. I would think they mostly do it because they feel the victim deserves to win a "lottery" for their losses. Or because they want to prove a point to the company, or doctor who did something wrong. Or maybe it's just because they have really good lawyers that can sell really well.

No matter what the case, it's ridiculous, and healthcare is ridiculous because of it. I don't know about you, but I really don't feel like getting charged more taxes so I can socialize my healthcare and help pay other people when things go wrong.

What's more ridiculous, the millions of dollars that go to insurance and lawsuits, or the people who don't understand that when you go into a doctor, and they start guessing at what's wrong with you, that it's possible (and most of the time the doctors tell you the %'s) that something could go wrong with their diagnosis. I've seen a lot of people including myself, my wife, my parents, and other loved ones go to a doctor and they have no idea why something is happening, or why they can't determine what's wrong. And of all of those times, and all of those people, I don't ever see someone go just once, get one diagnosis, one "procedure" (surgery) and everything is corrected and back to normal. That just doesn't happen, and that just isn't realistic.

But if you want to talk about the economic impact, and the governmental impact of a universal healthcare system, let's do it.

Jason said...

Economic impact:

I think that universal health care would greatly (and negatively)impact our economy. The money we currently to the doctors would go to the government by way of increased taxes. The doctors would then have to work with the government to get what they deserve. The gov't would (most likely) negotiate rates with the doctors. Like I said in the original post the doctors would not be employed by the state, but the state would simple pay on our behalf. This would work in a similar way as the health insurance companies but with more regulations and higher taxes. The problem would be in the additional regulation and restriction that the additional power given to the gov't would in turn create. Here is an older document, but it clearly states how Vermont intends to handle universal health care.
Look at page 19 and page 20 (Table 4).

Dan said...

I guess the end result would be what everyone wants though, right? Lower Health Insurance Costs. The problem then lies in not the fact that we all benefit from lower health care, but the fact that there won't be enough money to put toward research and development. If the gov't negotiates rates, and pays those rates, and knowing how long it takes the gov't to pay anything, the industry as a whole could potentially collapse. I don't have an support for that, but I would think it's possible. All of the new drugs, new hospitals, advances in technology and procedures would slow way down. We may have one of the highest health care costs in the world, but we also have some of the best doctors. Now, I know better than most that the doctors don't actually try to cure you, but if something really went wrong and I needed surgery immediately, I know that I would have a good doctor to perform it.

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